2 Timothy 1:7 (New King James Version)
or God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
A legend from India tells about a mouse who was terrified of cats until a magician agreed to transform him into a cat. That resolved his fear ... until he met a dog, so the magician changed him into a dog. The mouse-turned-cat-turneddog was content until he met a tiger-so, once again, the magician changed him into what he feared. But when the tiger came complaining that he had met a hunter, the magician refused to help. "I will make you into a mouse again, for though you have the body of a tiger, you still have the heart of a mouse."
Sound familiar? How many people do you know who have built a formidable exterior, only to tremble inside with fear? We tackle our anxieties by taking on the appearance of a tiger. We face our fears with force. Military power, security systems, defense strategy-all reflect a conviction that muscle creates security.
Or if we don't use force, we try other methods. We stockpile wealth. We seek security in things. We cultivate fame and seek status.
But do these approaches work? Can power, possessions, or popularity really deliver us from our fears?
If power could, then Joseph Stalin should have been fearless. Instead, this infamous Russian premier was afraid to go bed. He had seven different bedrooms. Each could be locked as tightly as a safe. In order to foil any would-be assassins, he slept in a different one each night. Five chauffeur-driven limousines transported him wherever he went, each with curtains closed so no one would know which contained Stalin. So deep-seated were his apprehensions that he employed a servant whose sole task was to monitor and protect his tea bags.'
If possessions conquered fear, the late billionaire Howard Hughes would have been fearless. But you probably know his story. His distrust of people and his paranoia of germs led this billionaire to Mexico, where he died a lonely death as a hermit with a belly-length beard and corkscrew fingernails.'
What about popularity? Beatle John Lennon's fame as a singer, songwriter, and pop icon made him a household word, but his fears brought him misery. His biographers describe him as a frightened man, unwilling to sleep with the lights off and afraid to touch anything because of its filth.'
Though Stalin, Hughes, and Lennon are extreme cases, they are indicative ones. "Though you have the body of a tiger, you still have the heart of a mouse."
Dear Lord we pray that we would not live a life of fear. We pray that we would trust You completely in all aspects of our life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.